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Paramedic to RN

Pre-Nursing   (912 Views | 7 Replies)
by Jesse Duncan Jesse Duncan (New) New

136 Profile Views; 2 Posts

I have been a Paramedic for awhile, been in EMS for 5 years in total. I am starting pre-nursing next month. I am just tired of the low pay and long hours this field has. The problem I am having is everyone I have talked to says to not do it, some of my RN friends say to stay a medic, same as my medic friends that are saying to stay a medic. I am taking my CCP course in August to learn more, while doing the pre-nursing classes, with the end goal to go flight, preferably Pediatric/NICU flight. Does anyone in here have experience with going from medic to rn? Even working both at same time? Thank you. 

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CharleeFoxtrot has 7 years experience as a ADN, RN.

603 Posts; 7,247 Profile Views

I did it, and although my heart will be forever in EMS and being a first responder, I got tired of carrying my share of 300lbs of rapidly tanking humanity walking backwards down a staircase at 0-dark-hundred for (at the time) $10.00/hour.  I did a bridge program, worked EMS while doing my pre-reqs and tried working while in the core program. That didn't work out as 24 hr shifts aren't very compatible with a full time program so I went into debt and did not work the year it took to finish. Totally worth it.

I wanted to fly as well, that never happened for me.  But my EMS background got me into positions that I would have never qualified for.  

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1,718 Posts; 17,834 Profile Views

Basic EMT/ RN here.

I work with several who have done that, none seem to regret it.

You give up autonomy, but gain a huge scope of practice.

Seems like the chief challenge is school.  Not the academics- the environment.  I thought of nursing school as a 2 year hazing process to be endured so I could then start learning.  Experienced field medics sometimes have a problem with the perfect world presented in school vs their real life experience.

Also- I am going to guess you might have encountered a couple cocky medics in your time.  Nursing instructors don't seem to react well to that.

When I started nursing school, I figured I would bridge to medic.  But, when the reality came of both the initial time investment, and the time I would need to spend working for medic wages to get good, I changed my mind.

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RNNPICU has 13 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in PICU.

1,073 Posts; 12,401 Profile Views

One thing to also consider is that you will likely need 5 years as a NICU RN before working as flight RN. It is not an impossible path, but just know that there are steps to be taken prior to working as a flight RN, especially as NICU flight.  Often at trauma centers or Level IV NICUs, they have their own flight team, so you would work in the  NICU and once positions are available, you have your NRP\, Stable, and likely other certs and courses under your belt, you would be eligible. 

Others have mentioned salary. Even though you are a paramedic and have years of experience, you will receive a new grad RN salary that in almost all cases in non-negotiable.

Good luck with nursing school and your future career. 

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2 Posts; 136 Profile Views

Thank you everyone. Yeah, i know there are steps to get to NICU flight. That’s just my “ultimate goal” in a sense. Just trying to figure out what’s the best option/way. I love being a medic, just want to learn more. Especially on pediatrics. 

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26 Posts; 462 Profile Views

Medic 5 years, emt-I 5 years before that. As far as pay I'm getting, its awesome compared to what I made as a medic in a busy urban area. Got tired of pulling 300lbs+ patients out from between the toilet and the tub.

As far as starting pay, I was credited 1 year of RN pay per 2 years of paramedic experience. Shop around, go to the big hospitals if you can. I must have did well in my interview because I landed right into ICU.

The work is much harder and I definitely need to know much more. Its more than keeping patient till you get to the hospital and dumping them on the ER. And prolonged contact means more interaction with family. Then theres the fact that you have to interact with doctors and coworkers as well.

I like it but it depends on the type of medic you are. I know a bunch of them that wouldn't have anything to do with nursing. 

I certainly feel like my knowledge level has increased 10 fold and Im still in my residency  class. Don't regret it for a second. 

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CharleeFoxtrot has 7 years experience as a ADN, RN.

603 Posts; 7,247 Profile Views

On 12/26/2019 at 6:15 AM, hherrn said:

Also- I am going to guess you might have encountered a couple cocky medics in your time.  Nursing instructors don't seem to react well to that.

Oh my gosh yes! In my bridge program we (I am including myself in the paragod corner here) got over that delusion right quick. Those rough edges got ground smooth by the second rotation. I still have scars 😆

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Dani_Mila is a ASN, RN and specializes in Rehabilitation, Sub-Acute, Geriatrics, LTC, Psych.

240 Posts; 3,238 Profile Views

My former nursing classmate was a paramedic prior to nursing school. Now she is still working as a paramedic at her old place and as a nurse at a facility

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